Ivan Antonio Izquierdo
Born16 September 1937
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died9 February 2021(2021-02-09) (aged 83)
Alma materUniversity of Buenos Aires
Known forStudy of memory in mammals
AwardsOrdem Nacional do Mérito Científico
Order of Rio Branco
Doctor honoris causa, University of Buenos Aires
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversidad Nacional de Córdoba
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul

Ivan Antonio Izquierdo (16 September 1937[1] – 9 February 2021) was an Argentine Brazilian scientist and a pioneer in the study of the neurobiology of learning and memory.

Born in 1937 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Izquierdo graduated in Medicine (1961) and completed his Ph.D. in Pharmacology (1962), both in the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).[2] For nearly a decade, Izquierdo taught at National University of Cordoba (UNC), in Argentina, but, due to a number of reasons, both political (the Argentinian dictatorship) and personal (his wife, Ivone, is Brazilian), he moved to Brazil in the beginning of the 1970s, and lived in Porto Alegre since 1978. For more than 20 years, he worked in the "Center of Memory" of the Biochemistry Department of the Health Basic Sciences Institute (ICBS) at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), where he had an enormous influence on young scientists: he trained 42 Ph.D. students, most of whom hold academic research positions in universities in Brazil and elsewhere. Later, he moved to the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) where he continued with his research.

Izquierdo died from pneumonia on 9 February 2021, in Porto Alegre. He was 83.[3][4]


Ivan Izquierdo made several key contributions to the understanding of the cellular basis of brain processes underlying memory storage and retrieval.[5][6][7][8][9][10] His research work was focused in the biological mechanisms of memory processes, employing multiple experimental approaches that range from behavioral psychobiology to neurochemistry, pharmacology, neurophysiology and experimental neurology, usually employing intracerebral microinfusions of drugs and assaying its effects upon different brain receptors, cellular processes, and, in particular, behavioral performance in different tasks. He was among the first to reveal the roles of epinephrine, dopamine, endogenous opioid peptides and acetylcholine in modulating memory consolidation and state-dependent memory retrieval. Later he investigated benzodiazepine and GABAergic influences on memory. Some of his main achievements included the molecular bases of memory formation, retrieval, persistence and extinction in the mammal brain, the endogenous state dependency, and the functional discrimination between short and long-term memory.


Over the years, Ivan Izquierdo published more than 500 scientific papers in refereed journals and was, for years, one of the most cited scientists in Brazil (and Latin America): 13 of his papers have been cited over 100 times, and since 1958 his papers have received over 10,000 citations. He also published 17 books, 6 of which are fiction / chronicle, a recent, parallel avenue of personal interest.

Memberships and honors

He was a member of several Academies of Sciences, in Brazil and abroad - he was elected Foreign Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences on 1 May 2007. He earned more than 30 important national and international awards, including the highest civilian badge of honor of Brazil, the Order of Rio Branco (2007). In Argentina, Izquierdo was the eighth person since 1821 to be named Honorary Professor of the University of Buenos Aires; the other seven were Nobel Laureates. He was a recipient of the 1995 TWAS Prize.[11]


  1. ^ Squire, Larry R. (9 September 2011). The History of Neuroscience in Autobiography: Volume 7. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-539613-3. Retrieved 9 February 2021 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Trivedi, B. P. (2010). "Profile of Ivan Izquierdo". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (34): 14947–14949. Bibcode:2010PNAS..10714947T. doi:10.1073/pnas.1010117107. PMC 2930525. PMID 20696922.
  3. ^ "Morre Iván Izquierdo, neurocientista especialista em memória - PUCRS - Portal".
  4. ^ "Em razão de pneumonia, morre Iván Izquierdo, especialista em memória e reconhecido pesquisador latino-americano". GZH. 9 February 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  5. ^ Izquierdo, I.; Medina, J. H. (1997). "Memory Formation: The Sequence of Biochemical Events in the Hippocampus and Its Connection to Activity in Other Brain Structures". Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 68 (3): 285–316. doi:10.1006/nlme.1997.3799. PMID 9398590. S2CID 36146490.
  6. ^ Izquierdo, I. N.; Barros, D. M.; Mello e Souza, T.; De Souza, M. M.; Izquierdo, L. A.; Medina, J. H. (1998). "Mechanisms for memory types differ". Nature. 393 (6686): 635–636. Bibcode:1998Natur.393..635I. doi:10.1038/31371. PMID 9641675. S2CID 6121492.
  7. ^ Izquierdo, I. N.; Bevilaqua, L. R. M.; Rossato, J. I.; Bonini, J. S.; Medina, J. H.; Cammarota, M. N. (2006). "Different molecular cascades in different sites of the brain control memory consolidation". Trends in Neurosciences. 29 (9): 496–505. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2006.07.005. PMID 16872686. S2CID 3159001.
  8. ^ Bekinschtein, P.; Cammarota, M. N.; Igaz, L. M. L.; Bevilaqua, L. R. M.; Izquierdo, I. N.; Medina, J. H. (2007). "Persistence of Long-Term Memory Storage Requires a Late Protein Synthesis- and BDNF- Dependent Phase in the Hippocampus". Neuron. 53 (2): 261–277. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2006.11.025. PMID 17224407. S2CID 16158512.
  9. ^ Rossato, J. I.; Bevilaqua, L. R. M.; Izquierdo, I.; Medina, J. H.; Cammarota, M. (2009). "Dopamine Controls Persistence of Long-Term Memory Storage". Science. 325 (5943): 1017–1020. Bibcode:2009Sci...325.1017R. doi:10.1126/science.1172545. PMID 19696353. S2CID 206519345.
  10. ^ Da Silva, W. C.; Cardoso, G.; Bonini, J. S.; Benetti, F.; Izquierdo, I. (2013). "Memory reconsolidation and its maintenance depend on L-voltage-dependent calcium channels and CaMKII functions regulating protein turnover in the hippocampus". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110 (16): 6566–70. Bibcode:2013PNAS..110.6566D. doi:10.1073/pnas.1302356110. PMC 3631664. PMID 23576750.
  11. ^ "Prizes and Awards". The World Academy of Sciences. 2016.